A Ghost of a Comedy Sorry, in a rush so now other pictures
Ricky Gervais is a funny fellow. How else could a movie like "Ghost Town," which is so middle of the road in every other aspect, actually wind up being a fun little film that in it's brief moments of hilarity had me rolling on the floor. All those moments, by the way, featured Ricky Gervais. Just in case you haven't got the message I'll make it clear: Ricky Gervais is really the only funny aspect of this movie. Got it? Let's move on.
I'm not sure why anyone would expect more from this film since the story has been used a hundred different times in basically the exact same way, but Gervais had sparked some general hope, in me at least, that this would be different. After dying for about seven minutes during a colonoscopy Bertram Pincus D.D.S., (Gervais) finds he can see dead people and they want his help. Unfortunately Pincus is incredibly antisocial and hates talking to anyone and thus tries to ignore the ghost's request and go on with his life. Enter Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), a ghost whose wife, Gwen (Tea Leoni), lives in the same building as Pincus. Herlihy, who was a louse and an unfaithful husband in life, says he'll make the rest of the ghosts go away if Pincus aids him in breaking up his now ex-wife's new marriage.
Don't get worried by all the ghost talk, the movie isn't scary, it's a play-it-by-the-book romantic comedy which really only takes a chance with its humor when Gervais is on screen (see intro paragraph). Otherwise the film delivers the basic "boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy messes up big time and isn't sure everything will work out" storyline that seems to repeatedly please the romantic comedy loving section of the audience but is starting to bore the hell out of the rest of us. If only the plot wasn't as easy to see through as one of the many ghosts haunting poor Dr. Pincus there might have been something worth heading out to the theater to see.
As for the rest of the cast outside of Gervais, it's a plethora of ho-hum performances that only make the quality of Gervais' comic scenes stand out all the more. Leoni is flatter than she's ever been offering a female love interest that, while beautiful, is pretty much just there to advance the plot and whoever decided that casting Kinnear as a general scum bag must have been off their rocker. The man doesn't have an evil bone in his body and it's hard to think of him as anything but likable even when he's buying an apartment to spend time with his mistress. I will however give credit to Leoni for having enough chemistry with Gervais to make me believe a gorgeous woman like her could actually fall for the less than ruggedly handsome Gervais.
So what have we learned from Ghost Town? Great comedic actors don't always make great comedic movies. They do however make poor ones a bit more tolerable. Wait!!! Help me earn a living!!!!
So I have a new gig at Examiner.com as the Washington DC Film Examiner. It's very exciting and means way more people will be reading my reviews and that I'll actually be giving you Monday Reviews every week once again. However, I get paid by the unique viewer there so if you like my movie reviews or just want to help me out I'd really appreciate if you went over there by clicking this link
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*Hunkers down for a verbal beating*